CULTURE

From VP Leni to Macoy Dubs: How this YouTube talk show helps trans visibility

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Mela Habijan’s “3some” isn’t only an intimate conversation with celebrities and politicians — like Macoy Dubs and Vice President Leni Robredo — but also a platform to address trans visibility. Photo from MELA HABIJAN/FACEBOOK

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — While social media thrives on one-off “discussions” (which are often people shouting at each other), there is still so much to be said about opening up platforms that allow for a “three-way” engagement. For actress, writer, and trans rights advocate Mela Habijan, this means having “intimate, bold, and personal conversations” with an interesting guest and allowing the audience to be active in participating in the exchange. This is something that Habijan has always thought of doing, and her online talk show “3some” is a realization of that dream.

What’s remarkable with “3some” is how Habijan gets these notable guests, from Macoy Dubs, KC Concepcion, to Vice President Leni Robredo (who talked about her views on love), to open up to her and engage in topics they wouldn’t otherwise talk about in regular interviews.

Ultimately, “3some” is a great showcase of trans visibility. The lack of transgender representation in media is not a big secret, and Habijan taking charge and hosting her own talk show is her own way of asserting her right to something that would have been denied from her, if the circumstances were different.

“[The platform] an effective way for people to learn, discover, and unlearn [what they think about trans women],” says Habijan.

This comes at the heels of President Duterte granting Joseph Pemberton, who was convicted of murdering trans woman Jennifer Laude in 2014, absolute pardon. The issue brought to light more acts of prejudice against trans women and the whole trans community in a whole, which reminds us that there is a long way to go with fighting against discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community.

“These platforms that I have right now are powerful tools to witness and listen,” says Habijan. “I believe that the lack of representation and visibility about us trans women allow people to have prejudices and stereotypes that put us in a cage, in which we are deprived of opportunities [where] we can show the gifts that we have inside of us.”

Watch the interview with Habijan below.

Video and interview by SAMANTHA LEE